• Keith Fullerton Whitman
  • Kranky
  • 2006-04-06

This is a one-track, 41 minute live EP recorded at Galeria Ze Dos Bois in (unsurprisingly) Lisbon on 4th October 2005. It sees something of a change in delivery frow KFW’s usual OCD — the normal 3-year cycle of incessant editing and remastering of his last few releases has been eschewed for a straight-to-hard disk, as-is encapsulation of the KFW live experience.

Lisbon is an evolution from Fullerton-Whitman’s Playthroughs debut

The architect of this particular evenings work also records under the Hvratski tag, producing frantic breakcore to leap about to (the likes of which can be found on the Rephlex label), but the work produced under this moniker is a much more cerebral affair. Whereas his albums from 2004 and 2005 were embelished with his own multi-instrumentation, Lisbon is an evolution from Fullerton-Whitman’s Playthroughs debut, and that long player’s system of live/real-time guitar/computer synthesis. At a base level this is an interesting juxtaposition betwixt the analogue and the digital, but beyond that is also the mind-blowing technical aspect of the output, which is lovingly detailed on KFW’s website. This includes homemade guitar pedals, battery powered ‘devices’ and various doctored field-recordings, synth compositions and live room-sounds. All these contribute to the alien cycle that develops throughout Lisbon’s 40 minutes.

…builds and builds into an hurricane of electric noise

Cursive sonic glances may suggest this is rather insubstantial, but repeated listens and a consideration of the author’s dense technobabble alongside it add depth and appeal. Although this is songless in the conventional sense the sound veers between six or so variant cycles. The opening sine-throb adds menace to labelmate Christopher Bissonette’s ambient burble, which then develops slowly into warped, angry synths followed by some bizarre room-clatter like a blind man walking around an unfamiliar room. The climax by the end which, when listened to on headphones, is particularly impressive.

This is a composition that takes from ideas of drone and musique concrete, but also follows a similar quiet/loud dynamic to post-rockers like M83. It’s unlikely to find an audience much outside avant-garde circles but those who investigate would discover a fine piece of electronica.

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